Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Rules for Being a Grown-up

Hubs told me that when he was a kid, he thought one of the things you had to do to be considered a grown-up man was to have tons of baseball stats memorized, and he was worried about his upcoming maturity.  Not only did he not have stats memorized, but he didn't even like baseball.  He said the weirdest thing about it was that he didn't know where he got the idea, his dad wasn't a stat spouting baseball groupie.  At least my milestone for being grown-up had some basis in reality.  When I was a kid, my parents listened to country music (except for Saturday mornings, when my dad would crank up the radio to the local polka music station).  We had a steady diet of all the country greats, Donna Fargo, Mel Tillis, George Jones.  My folks even went to the Grand Ole Opry on their honeymoon and Hee Haw was a Saturday night staple at our house.  I thought you couldn't consider yourself an adult until you listened to country music - rock music was for teenagers, when you hit your early twenties,  you started listening to country and became an adult and when you were a grandparent, you advanced to easy listening.  Those were the RULES, people!  It was simple, if you listened to rock music, you weren't allowed to have kids, yet and the minute you got the call from the hospital about grandkid #1, you immediately switched over to elevator music.  I'm not sure when I realized that you could, in fact, give birth while still loving Van Halen, but it was a huge relief, because I'm still not a huge fan of Country music (of course, Dwight Yoakam is the exception to that rule).  I'm not sure why I'm sharing this with you other than the fact that hubs just had Freebird blasting in the other room and I was jamming along in here and I realized that we broke all the rules for being grown-ups (neither of us know any baseball stats either).

In case you were wondering, Diesel has been making a wide berth around the dishwasher the last couple days. I'm sure he'll eventually forget the traumatic experience of Friday night, but in the meantime, it's nice to know my dishes aren't getting pre-washed while sitting in the washer.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Maybe this will break him of the habit

Diesel dog is a fairly obedient dog, but he's got a few bad habits.  He likes to pull things from the garbage and he also likes to like the dirty dishes clean when they're sitting in the dishwasher and the door is open as we're loading it.  That last one particularly grosses me out, but I've just given up on trying to stop him.  At least I know the dishes are going to be cleaned immediately  after Diesel's clean-up job.  But, something happened tonight that just may break him of the dishwasher habit.  I was standing by the sink doing dishes and Diesel was licking at the plates in the dishwasher when his dog tags got caught on something in the rack.  He jerked his head up, and the while rack came up with him, which freaked him out majorly.  So he ran.  With the rack still attached to his collar.  All over the kitchen.  I kept yelling at him to sit so I could unhook him,but he kept freaking out.  Plates and silverware went flying all over the place before the wire on his tags gave out and he finally got free and ran off to hide, leaving me with a mess and, fortunately, only one broken plate.  That dog is such a dork.

We picked up Angel #1 at the airport on Wednesday and he's home on leave for 9 days.  Yay!  We weren't even out of the airport parking lot before he and WE were already at it, beating on each other and trying to one up each other and they haven't quit yet. I've learned to just ignore all the crashes and bangs that come from  upstairs when they're wrestling around, they're like giant, 170 pound puppies.  Tonight both boys, WE's girlfriend and Angel #4 are all going to a hockey game with some friends and I've got the house all to myself (hubs has a job up north and he's staying at a hotel for a couple days).  It's nice and quiet here, now that Diesels done destroying my dishwasher.  It's been snowing lightly all day and I'm kind of concerned with them out driving, but it doesn't seem to faze them at all, so they weren't going to listen to me if I suggested cancelling out.  Kids think they're invincible and, I'll admit, I'm a massive worrywart when it comes to driving in snow, so we balance each other out.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

putting the "cross" in cross country skiing

The other day when we went on a thrift store expedition, hubs picked up a pair of cross country skis and shoes.  They fit Angel #4.  She's never skied before, so hubs took her outside and gave her a few basic lessons, then came inside and let her go to it.  After about 45 minutes, he started wondering what happened to her, figuring she's be inside already.  We decided if she didn't come inside soon, we'd go outside and look for her (it was dark outside and we couldn't see far beyond the windows). Right after that,the  phone rang and I laughingly said, that's probably her calling for help.  Then I looked at the name on the caller ID and said....that's her, calling for help.  Sure nuff, I answered the phone and she said, will someone please come out here and help me get these stupid skies off?  I've been stuck out here for ages!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

All told, we probably got about 10 inches of snow Thurs/Fri.  This being Wisconsin, things were cleared off and Friday morning, it was back to business as usual.  After half day at school, the kids were home by noon and Christmas vacation had officially begun.

A couple weeks ago, WE had bought a gingerbread house decorating kit for him and his girlfriend to do together and they decided to do it yesterday afternoon.  I was in the other room, overhearing their conversation at the dining room table as they worked on the house.  First I hear the GF looking for the instructions so they could decorate it properly, then hear her yelling at WE for covering the entire side of one of the walls with green frosting, which is NOT  how the instructions instructed.  Then they bickered about how to do a window and bickered on how to do the door - they pretty much bicker the entire time they're together, it was hilarious.  If there's one thing WE loves to do, it's bicker, so it looks like he found the perfect girl.  After a while, I hear WE say:  Then, the gingerbread village gets hit by a horrible candy storm!  WE's GF then said:  knock it off, the roof was the only part of the house that looked good!   Right after she left, WE brought the house upstairs to his bedroom and ate off most of the candy.

Then, last evening we went to the girls basketball game to cheer GF on.  She's a little disappointed that she's only on the JV team, but she did great and we had fun cheering her on though the JV team ended up losing.  We then enjoyed watching the varsity girls team win their game.  As luck would have it, about 10 minutes into the JV game, some people sat in the bench in front of us.  By using some deductive reasoning, I realized that I was pretty sure that they were WE's GF's mom and sister, so of course, I scoot over to them to ask and sure nuff, I was right.  It was nice getting to know them, her mom sounds like she can be a lot of fun and she told me that she knew she was going to like us the day her daughter came home and told her that we had told WE that we paid her to be his girlfriend so he wouldn't feel like a loser - then I told her that when WE asked us to buy him something, I said that there was no way we could afford to buy that and keep his girlfriend on the payroll at the same time.  Turns out, that after talking to GF's mom, we realized that both WE and GF were our little trouble children, the ones that were always getting hurt and giving us heart attacks.   I'm not sure if it's a good thing that they're so much alike or if having them together is more like the perfect storm.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

And the snow goes on...la de da de da - la de da de die

According to WE, the snow started falling about 2 this morning and it's been snowing ever since.  Hubs snowblowed the driveway two or three times today.  The snow was so heavy that it would have plugged the blower if he'd waited for it to be done before going out to clear it.  Hopefully it stops soon so there's school tomorrow.  There's only a half day, but WE's got some tests scheduled and really would rather take them now rather then have 12 days of brain atrophy aka Christmas vacation, then be expected to remember all the material when he gets back.

In some sad news, I can't find my Pride and Prejudice DVD.  I've been looking for it for about a week now and have no idea what happened to it and I've really been Jonsin' for some P&P, especially since I read the book Murder at Pemberly last week and Hulu now has Lost in Austen in their line-up.  If you love P&P, even just a little bit, Lost in Austen is a really fun show to watch.  I think Hulu is offering a new episode every week (I think there are 4 eps in all), I've seen it already, but am more than willing to watch it again.  So anyway, I even looked at the local library this week to see if they had a dvd of P&P on the shelves, but they only had the *GAG* Kiera Knightly version when what I really need is the Colin Firth one.  If things get too bad, I just might have to dig out my copy of the book, but I've already got a pretty big 'to be read' pile sitting here and would prefer to shut off my mind and just enjoy the wonderfulness that is the Bennets.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

School is closed already

They've already called school off for tomorrow and we haven't even had a snowflake fall yet. This is our school district's superintendents 2nd year in the position.  We had such a mild winter last year that school never got called off and he told the kids he was disappointed that he never got to flex his administration muscles by calling off school.  My theory is he didn't want to miss an opportunity to cancel again this year, so jumped the gun a bit.  Well, at least I know we'll all be able to sleep in in the morning.

I went into town to day to pick up some library books that were waiting for me and buy a few groceries.  I just did it because I needed to run into town quick, but lots of other people did too, both the grocery store and the library were busy.  Since we're supposed to get up to a foot of snow in the next couple days, I guess nobody wanted to be stuck at home with nothing to eat and nothing to read.  Fortunately, this is Wisconsin and we're used to snow.  Stopping by the store is more of a, gee, we might get dumped on tonight, better pick up a gallon of milk.  We don't have people freaking out like in other places that aren't as used to snowstorms.  Nobody was buying up gallons of milk, loaves of bread and dozens of eggs, like they were planning on spending the entire blizzard making french toast or something.  The shelves weren't emptied and nobody was fighting over the last case of bottled water.    It was weird though.  I was walking along the aisles and I kept seeing this lady.  Every place I went, there she was.  I'd pass her in one aisle, turn the corner and there she was again!  I couldn't figure out how she did it until I was in the freezer section and saw her at the end of the aisle AND walking past the pizza freezer on my left.  That's when I realized that there were two old ladies with the   same brown hairstyle and red jacket in the store. That explained a lot of things.



Tuesday, December 18, 2012

busy day of squishing, smacking and singing

I started my afternoon out yesterday heading out to get my bi-annual mammogram.  This is not something I particularly enjoy, but one of those necessary evil things, ya know?  It certainly would make things a bit more pleasant if I didn't have to walk to the Vince Lombardi Cancer Center to get the the mammography place.  Rather than name cancer centers after famous people who died of cancer, I'd be much  more encouraged if they were named after people that fought cancer and won.  But, it was nice of Vince and/or his family to give the money for the cancer center, so, there's that.  After getting mammogrammed, I have to go in to get an ultrasound, apparently, I've got so many cysts that mammograms just don't really do the trick.  So, I had to wait in the ultrasound waiting room for my turn and there must have been some hold-up, because I ended up sitting there for 45 minutes wearing my jeans, a hospital gown with the opening in the front and a really really big housecoat reading old people magazines. Finally, after getting a refresher course on the whole Tom and Katie break-up yet again (I'm sorry, but poor Suri doesn't have a chance in hoopla growing up sane) I finally got called in. The ultrasound tech introduced herself, get me situated and all that stuff, and I was thinking she was the same one that did my ultrasound 6 months ago, but didn't mention it.  She turns on the screen, takes one look at my boob scan and says, "Oh, I remember you, you're got a LOT of lumps."  Yeah, she didn't recognize my face, but she could immediately identify my lumpy boobs.  I'm sure she's lots of fun at parties.

After getting scanned and such (the girls got a thumbs up for another 6 months, in case you were wondering) I headed over to Walmart to return some stuff.  While in the return line, I saw a former neighbor and we did a little catch-up.  Last I'd spoken to him, his wife had just been diagnosed with breast cancer.  Apparently, she ended up with a double mastectomy and has been living in a care facility since June, she hasn't even been home during that time and is unable to walk.  He was picking some things up for her at the store, he had rented a medi-van for the night and was next heading to the home to pick her up so she could go to their high school daughter's Christmas concert that evening. Their daughter didn't know he was doing this and it was going to be a surprise for her.  All I could think about is how sad it was that something that so many kids took for granted, their parent attending a school event, was a highly complicated surprise for Morgan.  Life is so unfair sometimes.

After my returns, I picked a few things up at the store,that's when I smacked the service dog in the head.  It wasn't really, 100% my fault, the dog was kind of being an aisle hog.  I'd managed to slip around the side of it with no problems, but then when I continued to walk down the aisle, I swung my arm back and managed to smack it in the head.  The dogs owner didn't see it happen and I thought it would just sound weird if I apologized to the dog, so I just continued on my way.  But, let me tell you, when I had to go back up the aisle, you can bet his furry little butt wasn't hogging the aisle again.  That dog learned to respect my floor space!

Angel #4 managed to talk me into going to the high school Christmas Concert that evening.  I didn't have any kids performing, but WE's girlfriend is in both the band and choir, and I knew some of the other kids as well.  They all did a beautiful job, though it was kind of a bittersweet moment for the band director.  Half an hour before the concert started was the school board meeting, the meeting where the superintendent was proposing that the high school band director get laid off.  WE went to the board meeting, just to see how things played out and he said those who were in favor of keeping him on had a very pathetic case and things didn't look too good for him. As much as I like the guy and can tell that he loves teaching music, I can't justify his job either.  Our district has more music teachers than it really needs and when times are tight, cutbacks need to be made.  They may not be popular decisions, but a sign of a true leader is when they have the guts to make decisions other people may not  like.  It's good to know that we've got a guy in charge that is willing to put the good of the district ahead of the wants of individual staff members.  Afterall, school isn't about individual teachers and their wants and needs, it's about educating our children as best as we are able.

Anyway, I also saw our neighbor again and got a chance to chat with his wife a bit.  She looked pretty good, besides the whole being in a wheelchair thing.  Her face looked filled out and healthy, not that thin, cadaverous look I've seen in some cancer sufferers when you know that they're not going to be around much longer.  I've seen that look too many times.  So, I hope Michelle is around yet for a good long time, I know she would love to see her daughter graduate high school and begin her life as an adult.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

the death of the evil snowmen

Sunday night, Angel #4 and I each made a snowman in the front yard.  They're right in front of the patio door in the living room.  Once it got light out on Monday, Diesel the doofus dog noticed them and  spent the day lying by the door, occasionally growling and barking at them (apparently, he forgot that he was out there with us when we made them).  According to WE, Diesel was concerned because there were strange things in our yard and they weren't leaving.  Eventually, he got used to them and would only wander by the door once in a while to check to make sure they were still there and hadn't come any closer to the house or something.  Then yesterday afternoon, he was growling, barking, and his back hair was standing on end.  I couldn't figure out what his problem was until I looked out the window and discovered that his fears had been realized.  One of the snowmen had MOVED!  The sun had been slowly melting the snow and #4's snowman was starting to lean over, finally, it fell completely over and that's what sent Diesel into his spaz attack.  Mine is still upright, but I don't thing it'll survive the day, so I imagine Diesel will freak out again.

Hubs has been Skyping me from the Cayman Islands.  Just as I'm debating the wisdom/cost of turning the thermostat up a few degrees, he pops on my screen, sitting poolside with the palm trees waving in the background.  Then...THEN, he has the nerve to say that he's ready to go home.  Yeah, like I'm believing that one.  To top it all off, he then tells me how he had the greatest fish tacos for lunch. I don't think you can get a fish taco for love or money here in Wisconsin...at least not a good one. If you're ever on Hawaii's Big Island, you HAVE to stop at Lulu's for a fish taco, they're the best on the island - at least I think so, hubs vote goes to the ones at The Harbor.  And don't let the thought scare you off, they are freaking delicious.  Shoot, now I'm hungry.

Hey, does anyone watch The Neighbors?  It's hilarious, though when I try to explain the premise to people, I just get strange looks.  But trust me, a human family living in a subdivision full of aliens named after sports stars is stinking funny.  Every time I see Kareem Abdul Jabbar, the short, fat little Asian dude, I just have to giggle.  I guess it appeals to my sense of the bizarre.

Edited to add:  CALLED IT!  Doofus has spent the last 15 minutes looking out the window and growling in anticipation.  All of a sudden, he jumped up, fur standing on end, barking like a moron, the 2nd snowman had just fallen down.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

adventures in shopping

Yesterday, angel #4 and I were invited to a volunteer appreciation reception at the local library. #4 and I both enjoy helping with the library book sale.  Right before we were heading out the door, WE called asking for a ride home from school - he'd stayed after to do some homework (and also to serve detention, but he didn't mention that part until later).  I told him the only way I could get him was if we took him along to the library with us.  So he goofed around on the library computers while #4 and I got  to eat delicious appreciation reception snacks. 

After that, we headed off to the thrift store to drop off some donations and buy some stuff to fill up the empty spots where we'd got our donations.  While I was there, I suddenly remembered that I needed to pick up a hamster cage and headed to the pet supply aisle.  I was about halfway there when I stopped and wondered why I needed a hamster cage.  Only then did I remember that the night before I dreamed  we got a hamster and couldn't find a place to put it, then it got really big, like the size of a cat, and started having a ton of hamster babies, just one after another.  Then I realized with relief that I didn't need to pick up a hamster cage after all since it was only a dream.

We went to Shopko after that to return something I'd bought last week that was defective. The kids came in with me and bought some things of their own.  WE bought a box of about a dozen candy canes and I asked him if he was particularly hungry for them or what.  He said got them to hand out to people that he ticks off - I told him he should have bought more boxes.  He said he was thinking the same thing.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Let it snow, Let it snow, but not on the roads or driveway, please

Okay, not always a big fan of snow, but thought I'd share this isn't it gorgeous?  This is the view out of my kitchen window (well, kind of, I took the picture from outside, I would have had to wash the window if I took the picture from the house and there's only so much I'll do for blog accuracy)

Angel #4 had a good time playing in the snow last night.  I think she took about a dozen pictures of our snowmen.  Isn't it cool how the camera's flash reflects off the snowflakes? It's like the world is all sparkly.  

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The worst mom in the world

Well, it's official, I'm the worst mom in the world and their dad is obviously the one who really loves them.  The kids are planning on filing a grievance with God.  Not only are they not going to put me in a nice nursing home when I'm old, they're not even going to stick me on an ice floe in the ocean, they're just going to throw me right in (which instigated the argument over whether or not ocean water can get to 30 below 0 without freezing).  So, what mean horrible thing did I do to those innocent little nippers? I refused to go out for Chinese food after church this morning.  Apparently, kids are starving in Africa because they don't have all you can eat Chinese buffets in the Congo, at least that's what I was told.  And why did I torture my children so?  A number of reasons, I assure you.  First off, I wasn't feeling good yesterday, and though I'm fine today, after having a touchy stomach the previous day, I really didn't thing filling it with crab Rangoon was in my best interest.  Secondly, I just took them shopping and they both got new clothes this week - I know that a lot of people do this on a regular basis, but not us.  Usually "new" clothes for my family means we got something from the thrift store, but this week, WE got 2 pair of dress pants and #4 got a new skirt and some Uggs, all with price tags attached and still smelling like sizing, so yeah, I spent actual money on them.  Third and most importantly, It's freaking snowing and though the roads weren't bad yet, we're supposed to get 2-6 inches today and I really wanted to be home before things got yucky.  So maybe...just maybe, I'll take them next week if the stars are in alignment.

Hubs and Fred made it to Houston without incident this morning.  He said that Fred was a good little traveler and Angel #2 called, thrilled to have both her kitties once again.

Hours later....I guess I forgot to publish this, so I'll just continue.  We've probably got about 3-4 inches so far and it's still going.  Angel #4 and I made a couple of snowmen.  She wanted to make 5 of them and say it was One Direction, but I stopped at one, I guess I made Liam and I'll leave her to finish up the group.  It's supposed to stop soon, so I think we're good about school tomorrow.  We've only got a limited number of snow days built into the year and it would stink to use one up right away at the first snowfall, though I'm sure the kids wouldn't mind.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Off to Margaritaville

Hubs is off on a new adventure tomorrow.  He's headed to Grand Cayman, a place he's never been.  He's got an acquaintance who runs a tv station down there and he's staying with him.  On his way down, he's going through Houston and will have a quick breakfast with Angel #2 between flights.  He's also bringing Fred down to her.  We're all going to miss Fred up here, but since #2 raised him since he was two weeks old, bottle feeding him, teaching him to use the litter box and all that kind of stuff, he's definitely her cat and we can't convince her to let him stay.

Last night, hubs and I went out to eat for our anniversary.  It's today, but with him leaving early tomorrow morning, we thought it would be best to go out Friday instead.  We tried a new (for us) place downtown at a nearby city and it was crazy as we were driving there.  The main street in town was closed off and there were people walking everywhere.  We thought maybe it was a Christmas parade or something.  Once we got to the restaurant, we found out that the downtown area was closed to traffic because all the downtown shops were having live mannequin  displays in their windows.  So, after we ate, we took a nice walk up and down mainstreet to check out all the displays.  It was nice weather (for December in Wisconsin) and there were tons of people out and about.  We went into some stores we previously didn't even know existed and really enjoyed ourselves.  I also finally went to Vintique, a store I'd been wanting to check out for awhile now.  It's all vintage clothes, hats, jewelry and that sort of thing, from the 1920's-1960's.  Awesome stuff and I'm definitely going back again when it won't be quite so crowded and check things out a little closer.

PS Jeanie, this is your yearly anniversary reminder!!!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Don't feel bad, Tanya, I thought Taylor Swift was still with the Kennedy kid as well, thank goodness #4 set me straight about the whole Haylor thing.  #4's not too worried about the romance though - according to her, she said that soon Taylor will be writing a song about their break-up and Harry will be all hers again.

Our little Fred, the cat, went to the vet today.  Sunday he's hopping on a plane with hubs, who will be handing Fred over to Angel #2 during his layover in Houston.  She'll be happy to have both her cats with her again, but those of us up here will be missing the little stinkwad.  Fred is the most active of our cats, pouncing on our feet while we're in the shower, meeting us at the door when we come home and generally making himself felt around the house.  We've also been known to leave the faucet dripping in the bathroom sink for Fred because he loves playing in the water.  We're starting to become those kind of people - so maybe it's a good thing Fred's leaving or we're going to start buying little cat clothing and getting them birthday presents and weird stuff like that (btw, Angel #2 already does that stuff, she's totally a crazy cat lady).  Once Fred is gone, we'll be left with a fairly manageable amount of pets, just Diesel the doofus dog and Muse, aka Fatty McCatty - and of course, my chickens, but they don't live in the house, and we eat them, they're not really pets, except for the edible kind.  Though I don't think they're such a thing as edible pets, so yeah, they're just farm animals.  But, I do talk to them every day, so we do have a relationship, but it's more like an eater to an eatee kind of thing rather then master/pet.  It works for us, so STOP JUDGING ME!!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Why yes, it IS all about my kid. Why do you ask?

Last night we went to Angel #4's Christmas concert for school.  It was for the Middle school, so 6th, 7th & 8th grade choir, band and tone chimes.  We started with the 6th grade band - they did 3 songs.  On the 2nd song, the band teacher said she asked some of the 8th grade band members to mentor the younger kids and had them come up to play with the 6th graders.  #4 went up there to do here part helping the 6th graders.  Then we moved on to tone chimes, which are kind of like bells and sound like a music box.  Angel #4 also belongs to the tone chimes group, so she was up there again.  After Tone chimes, the Middle School Choir got up to sing and you guessed it, #4 was up there again.  After a couple songs, the music teacher pulled 2 girls down to do a special duet - the song they're preparing to do together for Solo Ensemble in March.  Yep, it was the Angel with her best friend.  They sang beautifully together, a nice change since I thought the only thing those two could do together was giggle.  When Choir was done, the 7th and 8th grade band came up to perform.  One of the songs featured the percussionists, who moved their instruments to the front of the group for that particular song.  Yep, you guessed it, #4 is a percussionist.  It was pretty cool - except for 2 of the 6th grade band songs, my kid performed in every song of the concert.  I'm so proud of my talented daughter.

Angel #4 is also keeping me updated on the exciting world of teen age pop music.  I know all about Directioners (fans of the group One Direction), HaLor (the romance between Harry Styles and Taylor Swift), Swifties (fans of Taylor Swift, obvie) and all kinds of exciting things that I don't care about but know anyway.  I haven't gotten to the point where I know the blood types of all of the 5 One Direction boys (though #4 has run them through for me a couple times) but I know enough to sing along with 1D songs and know that Harry Styles is a sexy beast (according to #4, I think he looks like he's about 12 years old).  Though their songs are kind of catchy, I'll stick with the love of my life, Dwight Yoakam.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Dead deer and beautiful days

Today I ran around town doing my errands, getting some groceries, etc. I pulled into the parking lot at Shopko to pick up a few things and noticed there was an old beater car parked the next lane over.  The thing that made me notice it was the fact that there was a dead deer sticking out of the trunk.  Now, deer hunting ended on Sunday, which brings up the question - have they been driving around with a dead deer in their trunk for the last four days? If so, why - and why did they think the deer needed to go to Shopko with them?  Was it a stow away who was just hitching a ride, was overcome with carbon monoxide fumes, died and no one noticed?  I just don't know.

I also noticed that we've now shifted into winter mode around here.  I stopped by Kwik Trip to get some milk (and nobly passed by the deep fried cheese curds) and as I was leaving, the woman behind the counter told me to enjoy the beautiful day.  It was 33 degrees out...BUT, the sun was shining.  Once it gets to this time of year, our expectations have lowered to the point that all we need to constitute a beautiful day is the sun shining, temperature is no longer a factor and won't be until April...unless, of course, we have some unseasonably warm weather, then it'll be a beautiful day whether the sun is shining or not.  Heck, was it only a few years ago we were living in Hawaii and would whine if the temps dropped below 70?  Oh, how the mighty have fallen - or frozen, whatever.

Some friends stopped by for supper tonight, it was nice to see them and gab a bit. Jim is the guy we butchered chickens with, so we'd been with him not too long ago, but this is the first time Beth, his wife, had been to our house.  I just so happened to be trying out a new recipe for beef roast, so they got to be my guinea pigs.  The recipe called for 2 TBLS fancy molasses.  Well, I don't know the difference between fancy molasses and regular molasses, so I just stuck my pinkie finger out when I poured it into the pan and hoped that would do the trick.  It must have because it turned out pretty tasty.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Is that an egg in your pocket or are you going to have to skip breakfast tomorrow?

Today, I went out to the barn to do some barny kind of stuff and when I was walking back to the house, hubs called me over to help him.  He was loading scrap metal into the back of his truck to take over to the metal bin at the recycle place down the road.  I was doing fine, throwing the big stuff in the back and the small stuff into a garbage can - until he put the can into the bed of the truck.  I had a armful of small pieces, so I leaned forward against the truck to put the stuff in the can when I was reminded in an unpleasant way that while I was in the barn, I'd grabbed an egg out of the nesting boxes and stuck it in my pocket.  Yeah, it was gross.  Hubs had to finish loading himself while I went into the house to throw my coat into the washer.

Saturday, WE decided that his room needed a good old fashioned cleaning - if a good old fashioned cleaning involves an air compressor.  Yep, he cleaned everything out and blew all the dirt out of the cracks in his floor with the air compressor on full force.  So now all the crud that was in his room is blown into the rest of the upstairs instead.  As long as he had it in the house, I figured I might as well use it myself.  I blew all the crud out of the bottom of the refrigerator.  FYI, your fridge runs more efficiently if the coils on it are dusted or cleaned regularly - an air compressor works really good for this, though you could probably get away with just using a vacuum if you can get the hose under the fridge - which I have a hard time doing.  And, with all the critters we have running around here, there is a LOT of pet hair collected under my fridge.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Busy Digesting

I hope everyone had a wonderful, turkeyful Thanksgiving day.  I had a great time at my sister's house, her husband's Uncle Kenny made the whole thing worth going to, even if there hadn't been loads of delicious food and great company.  I'm willing to bet we had the only Thanksgiving dinner in the country where the main topic of conversation was what happened to amputated limbs after they were cut off.  There was also a discussion of what everyone did with their dogs when they died.  Classic

Sadly enough, the day after the one that is dedicated to giving thanks for what we have is the one dedicated to mass consumerism.  Black Friday literally turns my stomach - I hate everything about it.  Rude pushy people fighting with other rude pushy people to see who can get the last $200 tv - when you know darn well that everyone of those rude pushy people have at least one, probably more, tv's already in their houses.  Glut and greed isn't attractive on anybody.

We had a weather extreme here as well.  Yesterday was unusually warm and beautiful - it was 63 degrees outside when we pulled into my sisters street at noon.  People were out walking, biking, etc, working off their huge dinners.  We had a pretty stiff wind blowing though, and that wind brought in a cold front that brought an end to our Indian Summer.  The wind is still here, but our 60 degree temps are a thing of the past and we're in the low 30's now.  BOOOO!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

What did you just say???

Yesterday, Angel #2 told me that today was the first time at work that there was an animal death that she was directly responsible for.  Then she said, WAIT, that did NOT come out right!  She then went on to say that she wasn't responsible for the death, she was responsible for the animal. Apparently, the dog stopped breathing and she was manually breathing for it with whatever thingy vets use to artificially breath for animals and she had to continue doing so until they got permission from the dogs owner go let it go.  So yeah, she was responsible for breathing for it until she got the okay to stop, I guess.  Fortunately, she's able to distance herself emotionally from the animals for the most part and doesn't cry when there's a death at the hospital - which is good because she's essentially working in an animal ICU and there are a lot of fatalities when you're dealing with majorly sick animals.  Personally, the whole thing kind of grosses me out, but I don't understand the whole pet thing in the first place.

Talk about pets, its been beautiful and sunny here the last couple days - daytime temps in the 50's.  Anyway, with the sun streaming in the windows, it's been doing a lot of reflecting off of things and onto the floor and walls.  Diesel the doofus dog has spent the last three days trying to catch the reflection of the sun off his dog tags.  I am talking about literal HOURS here, spent snapping at lights and scratching his paw against the walls trying to catch the reflection.  WE had the bright idea the other night to hook a lit flashlight onto the dogs collar, I swear the dumb mutt was going crazy trying to catch the beam.  He also dismembered one of Angel #4's stuffed animals, a monkey, and the cats have been playing with one of the legs ever since.  I'm finding that stupid monkey paw all over the place, it's like living in that one horror story.

Tomorrow hubs is coming home - at least he will if the morons at LAX get their heads out of their butts and realize that creating a strike that will only tick off the general public, isn't a very smart way to sway people to their side of an argument.  Sometimes people aren't very bright.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

ADD, the invisible disease

Today, I was talking to hubs, he's in working in Hawaii at the moment and was planning on taking the afternoon off to chill a bit.  Hubs has ADD and frequently forgets whats he's talking about and stops right in the middle of a sentence.  I"m used to this and usually finish the sentence for him.  I lovingly call him ADD Boy.  Years ago, a friend who knew of his attention issues gave him a book called Focus, meant to help people hone in on their thoughts and how to avoid distractions.  Hubs told me today that his goal is to finish reading the book before he gets home from this trip (his flight comes in Thursday afternoon).  He has literally been reading this book since our friend gave it to him 3 or 4 years ago, he told me that he's got 5 different bookmarks stuck in it and has used 3 different color highlighters to emphasize various sentences.  He's been stuck at the part in the book where they want the reader to sit down and write down all the things that they let distract them - he keeps finding other things to do when he goes looking for a pen and paper to write his list.  Living with an ADD sufferer can be frustrating at times, but they sure make life interesting.

Today, I began my life of crime.  I read in Backwoods Home magazine (my favorite mag and I would love a subscription - it's on my wish list for when I get a few extra throwaway bucks in my checkbook) that a great insulator for the floor of a chicken coop is dead leaves.  It keeps their little chicken feet warm, absorbs poop and gives them something to scratch around in during the months when the ground is snow covered and frozen.  The problem is, we barely have any trees on our property and no dead leaves to speak of.  I've considered going to the woods to see what I could bag up, but it's either been too cold, too wet, or now, when it's dry and the temps are in the 50's, it's full of deer hunters and I'd rather not get shot.  I was talking about this with our friends after church this morning and they pointed out that their neighbors had raked their yard too late and missed the city leaf sucker truck, so all their leaves are still lying in the gutter.  So, you guessed it, our friend grabbed a bunch of garbage bags and he, my 2 kids and my went out and stole the neighbors leaves out of the gutter.  I know they were home, but nobody came out accusing us of leaf theft - I figure they either realized that the more leaves we took the fewer that would get blown back into their yard or they really didn't want to antagonize the crazy people outside stealing their dead leaves.  Whatever it was, it doesn't matter, because tomorrow I'm going to do a final chicken coop clean before winter and dump a couple of bags of leaves on the floor.  It's all about having happy chickens, people.

Oh, and Jeannie, regular cheese curds are also delicious, but it's just something about taking fat in cheese form and then adding additional fat in the form of deep frying that makes them taste especially good.  Deep fried cheese curds are a staple here in Wisconsin - which may explain why were one of the most overweight states in the nation.  We may all die of heart disease, but at least we die with a greasy cheese curd smile on our faces.

Friday, November 16, 2012

You won't fool me again, Kwik Trip

The other day I was out running errands and I was suddenly totally Jonesing for deep fried cheese curds.  I debated with myself whether or not I really needed them, after all, it was only about 10:30 in the morning.  But stomach rules over mid-morning wise food choices all the time, to I pulled into Kwik Trip.  I feel bad for those places that don't have a Kwik Trip, they're the awesomest convenience store chain in the world and are all over the place in the upper midwest - KT was one of the places I missed the most when we lived in Hawaii.  Butter goes for $2/lb and milk comes in BAGS, how can you go wrong with that combo?  Besides, they have deep fried cheese curds right there by the check-out, Nirvana!  So I go in and buy a little tray of Cheese Munchers, get back in the car and head home.  I take a bite of the first one, expecting a mouthful of delicious greasy cheesey goodess and freaked out.  Turns out, Cheese Munchers, despite what their name implies, are not deep fried cheese curds, but are, in fact, stupid little hash brown thingys with cheese in them.  What. The. Heck.  Disappointed, but still hungry, I ate the dumb things.  Yesterday, I was back in town, it as about 1:30 and I hadn't had lunch yet, so back into Kwik Trip I went.  This time, I noticed the little slot that had Cheese Nuggets and I knew I hit paydirt.  Next to that one were a couple trays of those infamous Cheese Munchers.  ugh  So  I got myself a chicken sandwich and some nuggets and was happy at last.

Monday, November 12, 2012

This is a new one, even for me

Yesterday morning I woke up and my ankle was really hurting.  If I bent it a certain way, it just about put me through the ceiling.  I hadn't twisted it or hurt it in any way the day before, so I can only come to one conclusion.  I hurt my ankle while I was sleeping....in bed.....unconscious.  Have I got skilz or what?

The Fall Festival was yesterday at the high school.  It's just a big craft sale, basically, which I'm totally not into, but the middle school band, tone chimes and choir all performed, so I had to take Angel #4 there.  I was planning on buying one there there, I wanted to stock up on honey for the winter.  But the honey guy wasn't even there, he has been other years.  I guess I"m going to have to get another honey source.  I did end up buying some Watkins flavoring and a couple of homemade potholders from a little old lady.  I'm not sure what happened to my pot holders, but since I've been back from DC, they make a mysterious crunching noise whenever I use them  I've tried washing them, but it didn't help.  I'm not sure what my family did to them while I was gone, but it was definitely time to get some replacements.

Saturday, Angel #4 and I insulated the ceiling in the new porch.  Boy, did that suck.  Fiberglass insulation in our hair, our eyes, down our shirts and pants. Plus, we were installing in a cramped, tight space, sometimes having to straddle two ladders in order to get up into some places.  But it's sure a lot warmer in there now.  This winter we'll finally have  a place to put our coats and boots.  Yay!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Grilled venison is NOT what I wanted for breakfast

So, this morning, I drove about 210 miles round trip to the airport to drop off hubs and Angel #2's cat Pepper (more on that later), hit a deer (more on that too) and got a job, all before 8am.  I know how to start my morning right.

First, hubs and the cat.  Hubs is flying to a couple places this week, and his first connection was in Houston, where Angel #2 lives.  She's been wanting to get her cats, Fred and Pepper down there to live with her, and we decided this would be the perfect opportunity.  His flight left a little after 5am, so we were up at 2am and out of the house 20 minutes later.  YAWN  Since you can only take one pet per person, Pepper was chosen to be the first to go, mainly because we all like Fred and don't really want to give him up any sooner than we have to.  Pepper is very timid and people shy, and frankly, I don't even think we'll notice she's gone, except for Angel #4, who sleeps with all the cats in her bed at night. They arrived around 8 this morning and #2 was thrilled to have one of her kitties back with her and I'm happy to have one less critter around here.

Then, I'm on my way home, practically there actually, with only about 5 more miles to go and a stupid deer ran right into my van.  I've been driving for almost 30 years now (which makes me feel really really old) and have never hit a deer, until this morning.  Pretty amazing when you consider that I spent most of my life in one of the highest deer/car accident prone counties in the state.  Fortunately, it only smashed up one of the headlights and broke a chunk out of the front bumper.  If I would have been driving just a smidge faster, I would be picking guts out of the grill right now, but it just smashed into the front drivers corner of the van.  I turned around to see about the deer, it was lying dead on the side of the road, it it hit hard enough that it bounced off my van and flew backward completely across the other lane and landed on the shoulder.  If hubs had been around, I'm sure we'd have scooped that baby up and I'd be canning venison this weekend, but it wasn't something I wanted to deal with on my own, especially at 5:30 in the morning.  So, it's probably still lying there, poor thing.  Next time, look both ways, deer!

I crawled into bed once I'd let my chickens out for the day and had a bite to eat.  I got the call about the job right around 8am.  Fortunately, I've got the ability to sound perky and awake on the phone, even if I"m still half asleep, so they didn't have to wonder why they were hiring a lazy butt person who was still sleeping at 8 in the morning.  I'll be working part time for the school district, helping to get all the USDA paperwork filled out for the school lunch program and also helping out a little as a lunch lady.  It'll be nice, I can spend most of my time squirreled away in a room with a computer filling out forms, but be around just enough so I can get to know all these kids I keep hearing about from my kids when they talk about their school day.  Not that they'll get all close up and personal with the lunch lady, but at least I'll be able to put some faces to the names I keep hearing.

Of course, after that exciting news, I knew I wouldn't be able to get back to sleep, so I got up and started cleaning house.  Before he left, hubs has been working his booty off getting the house ready for winter.  Our new porch is almost all sealed up on the outside and he put in the new door last night.  So, this morning, I put up fiberglass insulation on the inside walls.  That stuff is so itchy and nasty.  WE has been elected to put the insulation up in the ceiling, then it'll be all done.  At least the insulating will be, we still will need to do the finish stuff, drywall, flooring, that kind of stuff, but that's not as urgent as keeping the place warm for the winter.

Talk about being elected.  I am SO glad this stupid election is over.  Being in a swing state is miserable, people.  I was getting up to 5 or 6 robo calls a day and by Tuesday, I pretty much hated both candidates.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

I SO should get mother of the year award

I took Angel #4 to the mall today.  Yes, I went to the mall, that place of all evilness.  I really really hate that place.  I was already cranky driving through the parking lot, which was ridiculously full considering that it's barely November and Christmas shopping logically shouldn't be happening yet.  I got stuck behind one of those nimrods who see someone putting bags in their trunk, so they stop in the middle of the lane so they can get their parking space if/when the other person leaves.  I couldn't get around her and so was stuck watching strangers put their bags in the trunk, kids in the car seats, etc all the while ranting about the mall and how it was full of idiots like the lazy woman in front of me who wouldn't walk a few extra yards through the parking lot.  Then, after I finally got through, I turned the corner and got a space only 4 spaces from the door, MUCH closer than that other idiot.  I hollered out my battle cry, which sounded suspiciously like BOOYAH BEOTCH!  and went into the mall to further my agony.  And, to add to my wonderful motherliness, I even bought $10 worth of Godiva chocolate, just so #4 could go up to the counter and talk to the cute guy who works there - I don't even particularly like Godiva chocolate.  I am SO getting a rocking Mother's Day present this year from that kid or it's going to hit the fan.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

I'm Baa-aack!

I got home last night and am very thankful to be here.  I've learned my lesson, no more vacations! (until next time)    Things went surprisingly well on the flight home.  We were expecting a huge influx of people at the airport, all wanting to get home after the hurricane, so we arrived at the airport super early.  Turns out, that wasn't necessary, there were no lines for baggage check-in, we walked right through TSA and the halls were eerily empty for most of the morning.  Our flight was delayed for about a half hour, but that was because of lack of crew and nothing to do with the weather.  We landed in Milwaukee around 4 and I was never so glad to see the dreary fall countryside of Wisconsin.

Today was spent getting the house back in shape.  I've got a little higher level of cleanliness than the rest of my family, apparently.  But, they did what they could and I think they'll appreciate what I do around here a little bit more now.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

still on "vacation"

Well, I"m supposed to be at about 30,000 ft right now, but I'm sitting here in a recliner with my feet up instead.  Because of Sandy, our flight out today was cancelled.  I've rebooked for tomorrow, so hopefully everything goes our way and we'll be back home tomorrow evening.  Fortunately, I did all the things on my must-do vacation list and had Monday reserved for the leftover stuff, but it sucks that instead we had to hole up and watch the weather channel instead.  The weather wasn't nearly as bad here as it was in other parts of the east though one small tree did go down here in the apartment complex where we're staying.  Other than that, it merely looked like just a cruddy fall storm.  We were very fortunate.  I also feel very fortunate that we're able to get out of here so soon, only a 24 hour delay after what they're calling the storm of the century is nothing at all to complain about.

I'm told I'm missed at home, the laundry is starting to pile up according to Angel #4.  I told here that I did my laundry here, so I don't need clean clothes when I get back so she'd better start pushing buttons on that Maytag if she wants to continue wearing clean clothes to school.  It'll be nice to be home again, a week's vacation is a little too long for a hermit like me.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

So NOW do you understand why I don't like vacations???

Yep, here I am, relaxing during my vacation, if you call preparing for a HURRICANE relaxing.  It's all been a bit nerve wracking.  I'm not worried about the hurricane itself, I'm just concerned that it's going to interfere with my getting home on Tuesday.  I spent 2 hours on hold last night trying to get a hold of the airline to see if  we could get out early.  When someone finally answered, I was told they didn't have our reservation and I'd have to call a different airline.  THAT airline wasn't even taking calls, I simply got a message that all their agents were busy and to try another time and then it hung up.  Orbitz did the same thing.  Finally today, after an hour on hold at Orbitz, I got an agent who said we did in fact have tickets to get out of here on Tuesday, but there were no open flights to get out of here earlier.  So, we're going to ride out the storm and hope we'll get out of here when we're supposed to.  If we don't,  I guess we don't and we'll get out of here when we get out.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Finally chilling a bit

Yesterday afternoon, I was dropped off in the city and I spent the day wandering around by myself.  It was a LOT of fun.  I went to the American Art Museum and the Renwick Gallery, I loved loved loved the Renwick and if you're ever in DC, I highly recommend it.  Besides, it's free, so how can you go wrong?  I also saw the White House from the Pennsylvania Ave side as well as the Eisenhower Executive Office building, which is about the coolest looking building in town.  After wandering the streets for awhile, the Lincoln Memorial was next on my list then I sat by the reflecting pool and...reflected, I figured that's what you were supposed to do there.  But I did a lot of people watching as well. There are all kinds of different people and languages around here, makes for interesting observing.  At the end of the day, my friends picked me up and we went out for Thai food again - the wife at the house where I'm staying is from Thailand, so I've been eating a lot of Thai food the last couple of days.

Today we went out to lunch with Carol (my tour guide from Thursday) and her husband and son and now we're spending the rest of the day just sitting around.  I need a little recoup time after all my touristing.  Being around all those people is pretty exhausting.  Tomorrow I think we're going to have a fairly mellow day and I' not sure what's on the agenda for Monday.  We keep hearing about the hurricane whenever we turn on the radio, so I hope that doesn't mess things up for us or delay our flight home or anything.  Vacation is fun, but I"m about ready to get back home where I belong.

Oh, and one more thing.  My friends Donna, Jamie, Stacey and myself have put together a blog.  We're all writers (though they're a bit more dedicated than me) and have been good friends for years.  We're taking turns posting, the first 4 Tuesdays of the month is the plan.  We're also doing book reviews and whatever else strikes our fancy.  You can find us here:  http://novelfriends.blogspot.com/

Friday, October 26, 2012

Doing the Capitol

Driving through the Shenandoah's was beautiful.  The trees were all at their peak and looking down from the scenic overlooks into the valley was a sight to behold.  A very pretty drive and a good time with friends.

Yesterday, I went into the city.  Carol, a friend of my friends, offered to take me around.  So, the two of us, along with her 1 year old took the metro into town and did the American History Museum at the Smithsonian.  It was awesome, I'm so into that kind of stuff and really enjoyed seeing stuff from history that I'd heard so much about but never thought I'd see.  I couldn't believe how big the original flag from the Star Spangled Banner is, I imagined something much smaller.  After the museum and a long lunch, we walked around the city.  I got to see the Washington Monument, White House, WWII Memorial and a bunch of other things.  Now that I know how the metro works, I may go back into town by myself before we leave.  I really liked just wandering around town looking at stuff.

I'm not sure what's on the agenda today.  So far we've just been hanging around the house, which isn't so bad after all the running around the last 3 days.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

On the road

Believe it or not, me, the hermit houselover is traveling.  Yep, I left the safety of my recliner, hopped on a plane with Rent-a-Grandma and now I'm sitting at Grandma's son's house in Virginia.  We flew into Washington DC yesterday, saw the Pentagon from the air as we were landing and saw the Wash monument, Capitol and Jefferson Memorial as we were leaving the airport.  Grandma's daughter-in-law, grandson and daughter met us when we landed.  Grandma's daughter Lori and I have been friends forever and were roommates before I got married, so it was nice to spend some time playing catch-up with her.  The four of us went out for mani/pedis, which was an entirely new experience for me.  When I've got extra money to spend,  it usually ends up at the grocery store, not on my toenails, but it was fun.

Today we're driving through the Shenandoah's, which should be beautiful this time of year.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Two beautiful days in a row

We've had some lovely days recently, which is nice after all the wind and rain we've had.  Hubs had the  dirt dug out around the base of the crawlspace on the west side of the house, Sunday it was raining so much the water was flowing merrily into the basement from the crawlspace.  We had about an inch of water on the basement floor.  So today and yesterday made up for it with sunny skies and upper sixties in the temps, the last gasp before winter starts bombarding us.  From what I've heard from people who watch animals, we've got a bad winter coming up, animals know this crap, apparently.  Hubs covered the wrap on the west side of the house with foam insulation today and got the new windows all sealed up.  Then the dirt got shoveled back against the house, so hopefully we won't have an indoor pool in the basement again.

WE was happy for the nice weather as well.  His cross-country coach is out of town this week and he's got someone else running things.  The sub sent the kids off running and followed them in his car the last two days.  Today, he felt they could be trusted to do their running, so he just let them go.  Silly man.  As soon as the kids were out of sight, they headed off to the woods and played in the creek (in Wisconsin, that's pronounced "crick").  They had made a makeshift bridge a different time they were slacking off during practice, so they worked on making it sturdier.  Two kids fell in.  I would "think" the sub would wonder why kids were coming back from their run all wet, we'll see if he hops back in his car tomorrow and starts trailing them again.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Itchy and scratchy

Today it was take your wife to work day, so I hopped into the dumpy Ford Ranger with the missing door handle and joined my husband in a fun filled day installing a furnace. This was in a 2nd floor apartment and all the ductwork needed to be installed through the ceilings, which necessitated someone needing to crawl around in the attic and mess around with the fiberglass insulation.  Since I was the one with the least seniority, I was nominated and since hubs was the only one voting, guess who ended up rolling around in insulation?  That stuff may look like cotton candy, but it's pure evil.  It gets down in your clothes, gets inhaled in your lungs and itches like crazy.  I was pretty happy to finally get home and take a shower, but I still feel pokey all over and I think my face is covered in microscopic fiberglass scratches since it feels like it's sunburned or something.  Oh, and I also found out that people  hide their X-rated dvd's in their attics.


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Who are the people in your neighborhood?

I belong to a couple of sites that e-mail me information on available jobs in my area that I may be interest in.  I"m not sure exactly how I got on their list, but sometimes I find some good leads.  The other day, I got an e-mail with the usual explanation, based on your previous interests, here are some jobs in your area you may be interested in.  So, I scroll down the list, they want a welder, a garbage truck driver and someone to work security at the nuke plant.  How in the world did anything I click on give them the idea that any of these jobs sound like they're up my alley?  I'm having a hard time picturing myself hanging on to the back of a garbage truck and an even harder one imagining myself saving the world from a nuclear meltdown.  Frankly, would you  be comfortable knowing that I was the only thing between you and nuclear vaporization?

I'm going to enter my husband in as a possible feature story for My Strange Addiction.  The man keeps buying guitars.  He's been going on the goodwill auctions and some music store must have dumped their inventory at our local goodwill where they've been selling them online in lots of 6.  So far, hubs won 2 auctions and he's got at least 15 guitars floating around the house.  I'm not sure if they're some sort of musical instrument intervention available for people like him.  Some sort of 12 step for 6 string program, ya know?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I'm not sure how the brain damage happened...

Maybe they fell on their heads a few too many times when they were little....goodness knows they did a LOT of falling back when they were pre-5 feet tall, maybe they're not getting enough fiber or they've been chewing on windowsills painted with lead paint.  Whatever caused it doesn't really matter, because it's been caused and can't be undone.  Here's the setting, October 10th, in the middle of Wisconsin, the wind is blowing so hard the house shakes, the thermometer outside says it's 40 degrees.  My darling son, child #3, is sitting at the table, eating breakfast before school, I notice what he's wearing.  SHORTS!   Really?  Shorts?  So, I look at him and say, "Really?  Shorts?"  He claims that the hair on his legs will keep his legs warm.  Yeah, whatever.  Then kid #4 comes in the room, she gets straight A's, the teacher love her, this is not a stupid kid, which is exactly what I said to myself when I see she's wearing a sweatshirt and long pants - then her feet come into view.  I obviously spoke/thought too soon.  She's wearing FLIP FLOPS, and she doesn't have hairy toes, so I don't know what the heck is going to keep her feet warm.   When they were little, I wouldn't have hesitated to send them back upstairs and dress for the weather, but you know what?  They're teenagers (which may account for the brain damage) and if they haven't figured out how to dress for the weather by now, there's nothing I'm going to do to enlighten them.

We had another episode of poor garment choices last night.  Rent-a-Grandma came over an together we went to Angel #4's volleyball game.  (Go Panthers!!)  The weather was even worse yesterday than it was today, because in addition to the wind/cold we also had rain.  After the game, #4 came up and asked if she could stay after and watch the middle school football game.  I asked if she had a coat and she said yes (turns out that apparently,  the terms coat and lightweight sweatshirt are interchangeable) and I mentioned, very emphatically, that it was very cold and wet outside and did she really want to go to a stupid football game.  She just as emphatically, said she did indeed want to go to a stupid football game.  As she wandered outside with her friends, Grandma said that in situations like that her dad always said No Sense - No Feeling.  Flash forward 3 hours, when I went to pick #4 up at the football field.  She was wet, cold and huddled over the heater in the van.  She said she couldn't even feel her feet anymore.  I related Grandmas comment to her and her response was:  well, don't tell her, she doesn't need to know that she's right!   I said I didn't think I needed to tell her that since we ALL already know she was right.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The party's over

It got cold all of a sudden.  Thursday, I was outside, enjoying the weather, Friday, we were bundled  up in winter coats.  Friday evening, hubs and I drove up about 40 miles to a town where WE was having a cross country meet.  We were prepared with winter coats, long underwear, hats, gloves and scarves.  We got out of the van and were surprised to see how many people were there to cheer on their kids, there were about 18 different schools participating, so there were a lot of kids there.  Well, we're huddled up in our coats, trying to stay warm and hubs asked my why I wanted to go there so bad.  I said: ME???  I thought you were the one who wanted to come here.  So, turns out, neither of us really wanted to be there, but there we were anyway.  It's not that we're not supportive parents or anything, but have you ever been to a cross country meet?  IF you're lucky, you'll see the kids running for a grand total of 15-20 seconds, the rest of the time they're running through paths in the woods or across a golf course.  At this race, we got to see the kids start, they made a loop through the golf course and passed by near the finish line about halfway through the race, then ran the loop again and went for the finish.  We were feeling sorry for the kids at the start, we were all wrapped up in blankets, etc, while watching them strip off their sweats to a pair of shorty shorts and tank tops.  BRRR!  WE said he didn't warm up the entire race and his fingers were numb by the finish, he couldn't even get his legs moving decently and didn't run a good race at all.  He even crashed into a kid at the finish.  He said he tanked it last year when he ran that course as well.  Hubs and I were so cold that right after WE raced, we headed out, not bothering to stay to watch the girls.  We drove around a bit enjoying the fall color, then went out for fish.   To wrap up a cruddy race day, WE said the bus hit 2 deer on the way home, one limped off, the other one wasn't so lucky.  The coach had to get off the bus and finish it off.  Yeah, life in Wisconsin.


Monday, October 1, 2012

We don't need a stinkin' block to have a party

Last night hubs and I went out to dinner.  Because of that, our nightly walk started much later than usual.  Fortunately, the moon was full (or close to it) so it was really bright out and we didn't need a flashlight or anything.  As we were walking, a truck drove past, slowed down, then stopped and backed up.  It was Alex, one of Angel #2's friends from high school who lived down the road from us - Alex has also helped hubs on some furnace installation jobs in the past.  We stood around his truck and chatted a bit and after we'd been there for a bit, another car came past, slowed down, then backed up.  It was Larry, who also lives down the road.  We did a bit more neighborly chatting, then noticed that the northern lights were starting to come out.  By the time we got home, there were bright green streaks running up the sky, it was gorgeous.  If we'd walked at our usual time, we never would have seen them.  Tonight on my walk, it was like being on the highway.  By the time I'd walked the first mile, 5 cars and a tractor had gone past.  Busy times.

Last night, we also were passed by a truck shining deer.  For those of you unfortunate enough to not live in the country in the midwest, deer shining is what country boys do at night in the fall.  Basically, what it involves is driving real slow down country roads shining a high powered spotlight out into fields to see if you can see any deer.  Then, if you do, you stop, count them and watch them for awhile.  I guess sometimes if you're lucky, you get to see a deer fight or something.  Why do they do this?  I'm not exactly sure, it's a rural guy thing and I'm a rural girl, so I never understood the fascination.  But this is not some random thing, just about any given night this time of year if you drive around, I guarantee you're going to run across a couple deer shiners.

I guess I can't really blame the guys for looking for a reason to go out at night in the fall.  It's been absolutely gorgeous out lately.  The leaves are just about at peak, the weather during the day has been in the 60's and the air smells delicious - like dead leaves, fresh chopped corn and cool dampness.  It makes you just want to open your mouth and chew it up.  I love the fall, I just wish it wasn't always followed by winter.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Parents Night

Last night was parents night at WE's cross country meet.  It was beautiful weather, the kids all ran great (except for Kyle, we'll get to that later) and there were 8 different schools there and a ton of kids.  I had a harder time finding a parking space for that than I do for going to a Friday night football game.  WE ran hard and broke his personal record by a minute and 10 seconds, which is pretty amazing.  Another girl got the 9th all time high score in our schools history.  It was a pretty great night.  Then came the parents night part, where they announce the kids, then introduce their parents and call them up for their athlete to give them a flower. I got an orange carnation with a black ribbon tied around the stem, it looked a bit funeral, but black and orange are the school colors.  Last year I bought some clearance Halloween stuff in November and told Angel #4 it was school gear - she didn't fall for it.  WE's coach was getting all the kids parents names down so he could announce us and WE told him my name was Fluffy Bunny - thankfully, coach knew better and didn't announce me that way.  Coach is on to WE's little tricks.  A couple weeks ago, WE was trying to get out of having to practice by saying he had a concussion.  He staggered around and kept calling the coach Coach Dad.  Coach didn't fall for that one either.   And talk about concussions, that's why Kyle couldn't run last night, he got a concussion during practice - horsing around and wrestling with the one of the guys.  This is the second concussion in cross country this fall, the other kid got in a car accident on the way to practice.  I almost think football would be a less dangerous sport. :p

I got about a dozen quarts of apple pie filling canned up today.  I love canning food, it's a sick addiction.  At least we've got something to eat after I give in to the addiction, which is more than you can say for a stamp collection or Precious Moments figurines.

Thanks Afton, I think WE and his girlfriend are a cute couple.  He does good as a boyfriend, he drives her nuts, then does something sweet or romantic just in time to save his butt.  It's a talent he learned from his father, I think.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

winter is creeping in

It was a gorgeous day today.  I got most of the potatoes dug, just a short row left.  I want to get it done while the weather is nice, because it sure isn't going to late.  As much as I hated doing it, I turned the furnace on a couple days ago.  Some people make it a personal challenge to see how far into fall/winter they can go before turning on the heat, but the way I look at it, this is my house, darn it, and I'm not going to freeze my butt off in it if I don't have to.  A home is supposed to be a comfortable place, not someplace where you perform some bizarre freeze your hiney off challenge.  My house has no business being 60 degrees inside and I"ll do whatever it takes to bump up the temps.

The leaves are also starting to change color and our first frost a week or so ago wiped out what was left in the garden.  All that's left now is to hunker down and wait for the freeze to begin.  Yuck

Jeanie, it wasn't so much all the Packer jerseys that surprised me as the surreal feeling I got as I wandered around the store noticing that everyone was dressed the same way.  It was like Rod Serling was out buying some Sam's Choice cola and Great Choice mac n cheese or something.

Hubs finally comes home from Hawaii/Texas tonight.  He left on Sept 7 with Angel #2 to drive to Texas, was home for one day - long enough to butcher chickens - then flew off to Hawaii with a side trip to do some business in Austin, TX on his way home.  We haven't seen much of him lately, I hope I still recognize him when I get to the airport tonight.  It'll be nice to have him back, he hasn't been to one of Angel #4's volley ball games yet this year and it's parents night on Thursday for cross country.  It gets lonely being the only grown-up in the house sometimes.  Though sometimes it may be a bit of a stretch calling him a grown-up, but that's why I love the guy.

Monday, September 24, 2012

The people of Walmart

I HOPE there's a Packer game tonight, otherwise, everyone at my local Walmart did one of those middle school things where they all planned on wearing the same thing on the same day.  I noticed it as I was walking down the aisle and there were 2 women in packer jersey's coming at me, I turned my head to the left and there was another one, a right turn revealed 2 more.  ACKK!  I was surrounded by female Aaron Rogers'!!!!  After that, I noticed that about every other person was wearing some sort of Packer gear, yep, definitely a conspiracy.  FYI, I or anyone in my immediate family, don't own a single stitch of Green Bay Packer apparel and I don't think any of us plan to.  It's not that we're anti-Packer, we're just not interested in the NFL in general.

WE had a great time at the homecoming dance.  Due to a gastronomical conflict, he and his girlfriend didn't eat out together, they kind of did it in tandem.  The tradition at their school for big school dances is that the kids from each grade go to the same place for dinner before the dance.  Since it's a small school, that usually means only about 35 kids each grade.  There's a bit of crossover for those who date out of their grade level, but for the most part, that's the way things go.  Well, one Junior girl who likes to be in charge, made reservations someplace and told everyone that's where they were going.  WE didn't really care where he ate, but doesn't really like the bossy take charge girl, so he announced on facebook that he wanted to eat at Taco Bell instead.  Turns out a lot of other kids felt the same way and there was an out and out south of the border rebellion, like the Alamo...except it was in Wisconsin...and Davy Crockett wasn't there...and nobody died, but other than that, yeah.  So bossy girl cancelled the dinner reservations, but refused to go to Taco Bell.  So, she and others who didn't think it was a good idea to go dancing after chowing down on bean burritos, ate at Culver's instead...including WE's girlfriend.  The two restaurants are right across the street from each other, so afterwards, everyone met up and headed to the dance together.  And the good news is, because of the crappy weather, there wasn't a toiler paperer in sight on Friday or Saturday night, so my yard is pleasantly, toilet paper free.


Friday, September 21, 2012

my daughter, the druggie

Angel #2 started work yesterday.  She's going to be working the night shift at a veterinary hospital, but at the moment, she's doing a couple different shifts to get the feel of things.  She said it's a pretty big hospital with lots of employees.  The only snag in the whole thing is she had to take a drug test and failed.  Either she didn't study for it hard enough, or all the medication she was taking for the cold she has showed up in the test.  She was a bit surprised to see that she tested positive for meth - but since cold medicine is one of the ingredients, I guess it makes sense.  She said they're going to further test to it determine if it's the meds or street meth, though I hardly think someone on street meth is going to be ambitious enough to move all the way across the country and fill out a gazillion job applications in one week's time, so my money is on the Nyquil.

The TPers hit our house again last night.  We got hit on Tuesday night, but there was such a strong wind all day Wednesday that all evidence was blown away. Last night, Angel #4 was ready the invasion and was hiding out on the back porch.  She gave them a few minutes to do some decorating, then opened the door and yelled, "go get'em Diesel!"  The dog shot out of the house then stood in the middle of the driveway for a few seconds, trying to figure out what he was supposed to be doing, then he spotted the toilet paper wielding teenagers in the yard, let out a volley of barks and gave chase.  There were kids running all over the place while Angel #4 rolled with laughter.  She called the dog back in the house and Diesel got a hero's welcome for saving us from the perils of papering.  I've got the feeling they'll be back in full force tonight after the football game  to finish the job.

Jeanie, by the time we were done butchering, we were all so sick of chickens that I don't know when we'll even want to start eating them.  I know it sounds disgusting, but we threw the necks and  some other stuff right into the chicken pen for the layer chickens to polish off.  Yeah, we've got cannibal chickens.  I think from now on, instead of calling it the barn, I'll just call it the Donner Camp.  To balance out their food pyramid, I'm also cleaning out the garden and throwing all the left over veggies out to them as well.  There are probably thousands of people who would love a bushel of tomatoes, but since I don't know who they are, the chickens are getting them instead.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

cluck cluck clu-

Yep, they're gone.  Woo-hoo.  (I AM a blood-thirsty one, eh?)  Due to a scheduling conflict (our friend was called in for some epic dumpster diving on Friday) we ended up butchering chickens on Saturday.  It was a long day, to say the least.  Our friend showed up about 6:15am, I made us all some breakfast, then the chopping and plucking began.  By about 4 o'clock, we had all 48 chickens cleaned, bagged and in the freezer.  Though I was a bit saddened, we also took care of wonky-legs.  She was a nice chicken and all, but with 2 unworking legs, she was just scooting around on her belly and there was no way she was going to make it through the winter.  She was kind of gross-looking and we decided we would just toss her instead of cleaning her and putting her with the rest of the gang in the deep freeze.  Anyway, now that I've just got 20-some laying chickens left, chore time is much quicker, not only do they not eat as much, they're not nearly as messy as the broilers. Yesterday, I cleaned up the broiler chicken pen and hosed it down good, so my barn is all clean and sparkly.

WE got homecoming week off to a good start by going out TPing with his friends on Sunday night.   Nothing like getting a good head start on the toilet paper distribution.  They discovered it's more fun if you almost get caught, so when they're just about finished with their exterior decorating, one of the kids goes up and knocks on their victim's front door.  One kid they called and asked him if he wanted to help them TP, when he said yes, they said then come on out and help us finish up, we're in your yard.  Yeah, toilet papering is messy, but I guess there are so many worse things they could be doing that I'm not going to make a stink.  Our house hasn't been hit yet, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time.

Friday, September 14, 2012

waiting for the great chicken massacre

Our friend is coming over early this afternoon and hubs gets to the airport a little after 2pm, then we're going to start offing chickens.  I'm sure great fun will be had by all.

Last night I went to Angel #4's volley ball game.  She's had other games, but last night was the first home game and I'm just too lazy to go to away games.  She did incredible and practically won the 2nd game single-handedly.  She was serving and got about 10-12 points in a row with the other team making only about 1 or 2 returns the entire time.  It was awesome.  She was all smiles at the end of the game.

WE's girlfriend was thrilled with his homecoming invite, told all her friends and now he's pretty much the coolest boy in school...at least according to the girls.  Mission accomplished.

Afton, when I initially lost the Mouli, I told Kathy about it.  She didn't have an actual Mouli, but when she came up from Basement 13, she offered me three (3!) different kinds of hand operated graters she had down there.  I didn't take any of them.  Not only was I hoping my Mouli would show up, I also try not to express any needs or wants in front of Kathy because she would give you the shirt off her back if you wanted it.  We've also learned not to compliment her on anything - Angel #4 told her she liked a vase she had sitting on a table and Kathy told her she could have it if she wanted. Kathy is a one of a kind.  She also offered to help butcher chickens today, but I like her too much to put her through that.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

the kid oozes romance

So, high school homecoming is next weekend.  WE hasn't asked his girlfriend to the dance yet, though it's a foregone conclusion that they're going there together.  Yesterday, he asked how late the flower shop in town was open, I said I wasn't sure, but mentioned that I did notice that they were advertising a homecoming flower preview.  He said he wasn't looking for homecoming flowers, he wanted a single rose, his plan was to tie a scroll on it asking his girlfriend if she'd go to the dance with him.  Wow, he came up with that all by himself.  We didn't have time to deal with flowers as we were heading out the door to go to Bible study, but after the study, I asked the lady of the house if she had any long stemmed flowers WE could use for the homecoming invite.  Of course she did.  Kathy has everything.  If you mention you're looking for a particular item, she disappears down into her basement and 2 minutes later, she pops up with the exact thing you're looking for.  I've never been in her basement, but I imagine it looks like Warehouse 13, she may even have one of those ziplines to get from one end of the place to the other. (talk about Warehouse 13, what the heck is with Micah's hair? It looks like she's trying to grow dreadlocks or something).  Anyway, Kathy grabs a scissors and flashlight and heads out to the garden and gets 3 different kinds of flowers for WE.  I'm not sure what his exact plans are, but he got the scroll tied to the flower and pulled some petals off a rose to scatter around as well, I think he was going to set it up on her desk in chemistry class, which they have together.  And, to keep things real so they didn't get over the top mushy, WE put his own wacky touch to the proceedings, the note on the scroll said:  Will you go to the homecoming dance with me?  Circle yes or no.  

No girl can resist an invitation like that, imo.  lol

Hubs and Angel #2 are cruising around Texas.  Presently, they in north Austin and #2 has decided that that's the area she likes the best. She's handed out resumes and filled out apps in Houston, San Antonio and now the Austin area.  I'm kind of rooting for the Austin area as well since that's where hubs goes a couple times a year and it would be nice to have her nearby so he could see more of her, heck, I would even go along with him if that was the case.  She's gotten a couple calls from places in Houston for interviews though, so who knows where she'll end up.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

We're stronger than we look

Thursday night, hubs and picked up a new freezer in preparation for the great chicken massacre planned for this Saturday. Well, it's a new for US freezer, I don't think it's been new, new since sometime in the late 1950's.  This baby is OLD OLD OLD.  But, it's big and should hold lots of chickens.  Because of it's size and weight (that beast is heavy!) it's new home is going to be our back deck.  Yeah, that's kind of white trash, but hey, what do you expect?  We considered putting it in the barn, but not only is it not very convenient when you want to grab something for supper, we're also having some weird electrical issue in the barn and the outlets aren't putting out full power.   Something like that will fry a compressor in no time flat.  Okay though, here's the deal. Hubs and I bought it Thursday night, it took 4 guys to get it into the back of our truck, but by the time we got home, it was dark and no time to unload it.  Since hubs left early Friday morning to go to Houston with Angel #2, the  truck with the freezer in the back, has been sitting in the driveway every since.  Fast forward to yesterday evening.  There's a belt on our mini-van that's been squealing and no amount of belt conditioner was making it shut-up.  Well, last night, it fell off and the van was in no shape to drive, which means the truck was our only means of transportation.  Since I didn't want to spent the rest of my week driving around with a 4 million pound freezer in the back of my vehicle, we needed to unload it.  WE backed the truck up to the deck, and between him, Angel #4 and myself, we finagled it off the truck, got it turned around so it faced the right direction and put into place. Yay us!!  I thought we'd have to recruit a few of WE's buddies to help, or maybe just his 300 lb friend Bryce :P  but we did it.

I also managed to limp the van into the repair shop this morning, fortunately, it's only about 1 1/2mile away, so hopefully, I'll be cruising around in style in my mini-van before you know it.

Oh, I didn't tell you about our amazing abilities of deduction on Sunday.  We were on our way home from church Sunday morning and there was an unusual amount of traffic on the interstate (I-43 going toward Green Bay, that was the first tip-off).  I wondered what the big deal was, but didn't dwell on it too much.  But then we started noticing the passengers in the other cars and we saw a whole lot of Packer jerseys and cheesehead hats, it was then we realized that there must be a Packer game scheduled at Lambeau Field.  Yeah, we're regular Columbos.  I think the Pack may have lost, but I'm not sure, we're not exactly NFL fans around here, if you haven't noticed.

Jeanie, they always refer to the house on the churchyard as the Sister House, I don't know if there's a difference between that and an actual convent - I'm as much Catholic as I am an NFL fan,so I'm not sure of the terminology.  The sister house has a bedroom for the priest as well, maybe that's the difference, though I can't think that would be real kosher as far as the whole male/female, priest/nun living together thing.  Last year, Angel #2 and I snuck upstairs into the attic of the house and everything just to nose around a bit.  It looked like there had been some remodeling done in the 1950's and the house has some great mid-century bathroom fixtures and flooring and the kitchen is the bomb.  It does, for some reason, have a creepy clown room on the 2nd floor,I'm totally not sure of the reasoning behind that little decorating fiasco, but other than that, it's a pretty cool old house.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Just because I"m not Irish doesn't mean I can't enjoy

Angel #4 and I went to the Friends of St. Pats/Maple Grove Fall Festival again this year.  This is the 3rd year we've gone, the first one we went to happened shortly after we moved to this area and we thought it would be a good way to get to know the area.  There's a silent auction, musical entertainment, dancing, bake sale and some simple games.  Nothing extravagant and all home grown, done entirely by the Friends of St Pats.  St Pat's is the name of the church where the event takes place.  At one time, it was a thriving Catholic church - there's a sister house and a school also on the property.  The church and nun house are both closed now and are marked as historical buildings while the school has been converted into a home.  Today they did  cemetery reenactments and tours of old family farms in the area. And since just about everyone who lives here (but me, apparently) is Irish, so we had young girls doing traditional Irish dancing, Irish stew on the menu and a whole cemetery full of O'Leary's, Lorrigan's, O' Haloran's, Donohue's etc.  To change things up ethnically a bit, they were also making kolaches on site.  Kolaches are more Czech than Irish (they're like a danish) and the whole church smelled like rising dough and baking bread.  Yum yum!

I found Harry and Adeline's gravesite, they're the people who used to live in our house and Adeline's ghost is the one I blame whenever anything goes missing around here - I forgot to ask her what she did with my Mouli.  I also found out that they raised 7 kids in our house, 6 boys and a girl. I don't know how they all fit in here and I really  don't know why, if they had all those kids, they didn't finish off the 2nd floor room over the living room.  We call it the attic room, but it's not like you've got to go up through the ceiling or a ladder to get to it, it's just a room off the hall upstairs, there's a door there and everything, so it's not like it would have been difficult to make it part of the living area. Our plan is to make it over into a master bedroom/bath, it's almost as big as the rest of the upstairs put together.  Really, if you had 6 boys, why wouldn't you want to stick them all in a big room to themselves?  Oh well, to each their own.  But, from now on, when my kids complain that their bedrooms are too small, I'll just remind the how the O'Connell kids must have been stacked like cordwood up there.

I talked to Hubs and Angel #2 this afternoon.  They're hoping to arrive in Houston early this evening.  They were just crossing the border from Louisiana to Texas when I was on the phone with them.  They met some old man at a convenience store in LA, getting in and out of his car was difficult for him, so while Hubs ran inside to buy a gallon of milk  for the guy, #2 sat and chatted with him.  She'd told him they were wanting to go someplace for seafood for lunch.  He told them he knew where the best place to go was and they should follow him.  Hubs isn't sure exactly where they were, but it was somewhere deep in the bowels of Louisiana. Apparently the guy was right and they had a wonderful meal of gator bits.  Yep, I guess if you're in Louisiana, you've got to eat alligator for lunch.


Friday, September 7, 2012

And now another big change in my life

This morning, hubs and Angel #2 drove out the driveway at 6:30am so #2 can fulfill her lifelong dream of living in Texas.  Her last day of work was Monday, then she spent the last couple days sorting and packing just about everything she owns.  Yesterday afternoon, hubs AKA Mr.Tetris, fit everything in her car.  If you're ever planning on moving, call him, he's got awesome visual spacial skills and can fit an amazing amount of stuff in a limited space.  They're spending the night in Kentucky with a friend of hubs'.  This friend owns the Kentucky Opry, so they're hoping to get to Paducah in time to take in the blue grass show tonight.  Then tomorrow they go the rest of the way to Houston. She's going to spend the first month living with an internet friend of mine (those BW alumni will probably remember Grey Lupous, my Candyland partner in crime) and once she finds a job, will be getting her own place.  After she's lived there for a year, she'll be eligible for in-state college tuition and will be starting school to become a Vet Tech -at least that's the plan for the  moment.
It's going to be a bit lonely here without her.  She was only here on the weekends over the summer anyway, but now we're not going to see her around at all and it's kind of sad.

Poor Angel #1 had a no-good, very bad day yesterday.  He needed to deal with something at the DMV, which is never a pleasant experience.  In order to do what needed to be done, he had to then go to his bank.  On the way to the bank, he was stuck in construction traffic, then had to wait for half an hour because of an accident on the interstate.  He got the bank stuff figured out and was feeling good that things were finally in order and was driving along happily, until the truck in front of him ran over a can of black spray paint, which blew out over the front of his new white car.  Unlike his parents, #1 is very anal about his vehicles, washing and polishing them every week, so to get black paint spattered on the front was totally devastating.  Fortunately, he pulled over and scrubbed at the spatters with an old tee-shirt and it came off. It's just sucky though that something so weird and random happened to someone so picky about their car.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Listen to your Mama

I think WE learned a very important lesson last night.  Yesterday was his girlfriend's birthday.  I asked him what he was going to get her and he said nothing, because she told him she didn't want him to get her anything.   Silly,silly boy.  I, along with every other female he told the story to, told him that he should NOT listen to her or he was going to be made to regret it for the rest of their relationship.  As of yesterday morning, he still hadn't got her anything, so I picked up a cheapo bouquet of flowers for him to give her.  He grumbled about it, but brought them along when he went to her house for a birthday supper last night.  Yep, just as I told him, he instantly became the greatest boyfriend in the world.  It's amazing what $6 worth of daisies will do for your reputation.  And I"m sure that with a bunch of flowers in his hand he looked much better than that "stupid french guy" who's living at her house.

Other than being told I was right by my 16 year old son, the only highlight of my day was cleaning out the chicken coop.  For some reason, the whole time I was shoveling, Shelia E's song The Glamorous Life was stuck in my head.  Irony, thy name is chicken poop.  Though cleaning chicken coops isn't on my short list of things I like doing - I definitely wouldn't have stopped by that booth at the high school jobs fair - it's not so awful.  When I could get Shelia E out of my head, I pondered how I was living the exact life I want to live.  Not the one I'd planned on living when I was an 18 year old, wide-eye high school graduate with my big 80's hair and pink and green tube of Great Lash mascara stashed in my purse, but the perfect life for me as a grown-up.  I wouldn't have things any other way.  Though I just may not be waxing so poetic on the rural lifestyle in 2 weeks when we start decapitating and yanking the feathers off that flock of poop factories.

Today is the first day of school.  Angel #4 is happy to be an 8th grader, though I'm sure she'll be much more excited next year when she becomes a real live high schooler.   WE, on the other hand, is a bit less than enthusiastic.  He's chosen his Junior year to get all those tough classes out of the way so he can do a bit more coasting during his Senior year.  That, and he's one of the few teenagers who realizes how good he's got it and isn't exactly looking forward to graduation and facing the real world with its bills and problems.  He'll survive because he's a smart kid, but I'm thankful I don't have a kid constantly whining about how they can't wait to move out so they can do whatever they want without parental interference.  We always joke that he'll be 42 years old and living in our basement - he's such a homebody.  But he's already making plans for the future, so I'm not too worried about having to finish off the basement just yet.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

I hope you're all enjoying your Labor Day weekend.  We're keeping it low-key here.  Hubs worked on Fri & Sat and I stayed home and cleaned my filthy kitchen.  All that tomato canning made it a real mess and it didn't pay to clean it up until I was done with the mason jar frenzy.   I've still got tomatoes to do, but not for a few days yet, so I can enjoy a clean floor for a bit before it all starts again.

Poor WE is a bit worked up.  The new foreign exchange student arrived on Saturday, WE's girlfriend's family is the host family.  WE is less than thrilled to have his girlfriend living with a French boy - especially after she texted him to tell him that when French people say hi, they kiss you on the cheek.  He keeps muttering about 'rotten Frenchies'.

Oh, btw, WE says that he doesn't want to be referred to as WE anymore since he stopped eating worms years ago.  But seriously, something as boring as Angel #3 just doesn't fit his personality as much as   WormEater does.  Remember on Wednesday when I said he got new contacts?  Well, Thursday morning he was at cross country practice and was running around the track that circles the football field.  He looked in the direction of the sprinklers at the exact wrong time and got blasted in the face so hard it knocked him back, gave him a swelled lip and knocked the contact right out of his eye.  This does NOT happen to normal kids.  Definitely NOT and Angel #3.

We had another chicken massacre last night.  I lost 3 of my new layer chicks.  There were feathers in the yard and a few even stuck on the windshield wiper of my mini-van, but no other sign of them.  What is really confusing is we don't know how whatever it is eating them is getting in.  The top of the coop is completely draped in anti-bird netting and the bottom of the fence is reinforced by another layer of finer meshed fencing. It's pretty darn frustrating.   We've been letting the little ones sleep outside at night, but obviously that's not going to cut the mustard anymore, so now we've got to start chasing them into the pen every night at dark.  In case you didn't know, chicken herding is not fun.